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Traders in mandis hard hit, vegetable prices to shoot up

Vegetable prices in the Capital may go up as trade of vegetables and fruits have been hard hit after announcement of the decision of ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. 

Traders in various vegetable mandis claimed that perishable items especially tomatoes, spinach, capsicum, radish and several other vegetables were worst affected as lesser number of small traders, middlemen and retailers turned up in the market for trade activities and even a few traders reportedly dumped their stock in garbage in the absence of takers. The traders claimed lesser supply on the one hand while decline in demand on the other resulting in drought-like situation.  

Ruing over the development, the traders of Delhi mandis claimed decline in their trade up to 30 per cent. Anticipating big loss to their trade, majority of the traders have begun dealing in the banned currencies. Though they began to accept the banned notes, it has hardly helped in improving the market conditions as parties concerned were not prepared for it. “We suffered losses during early hours as we denied to take Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. To overcome the situation, we decided to resume our business following our normal pattern but the idea did not click as middlemen and retailers were not prepared for it. From Thursday, we will make prior announcements to trade with old currencies so that we can avoid confusion,” said Rajender Sharma, former chairman of Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee, Azadpur (APMC).

Due to this move, traders also claimed to witness up to 15 per cent hike in the vegetable prices with further chances of increase in the coming days. They said if trends continue, it will affect both retail as well as wholesale markets. 

“Price trend is up on a day with less trade. Ignoring hardships, we have started taking the banned currency. We can say that we have no option left to save our business from decline and hence, we are forced take the banned notes. Though our motive is to normalise the situation but we cannot stop vegetables mainly perishables ones from rotting,” said Amit Pandey, a tomato trader in Azadpur mandi. Traders of other mandis like Okhla, Ghazipur and Keshopur also highlighted similar crisis situations as volumes of trade went downward suddenly with the Prime Minister’s overnight announcement.
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